How to Win Your Weekends and Head into the Workweek with Peace and Clarity

“What are you doing this weekend?”

Don’t know yet?

If you’re like me, your answer runs the gamut of shouting, “Nothing! I need to chill!” to having a full-on list of everything that got neglected during your busy workweek.

Because let’s face it, you’re killing it during the workweek, boasting no shortage of lists, bullet journals, and meetings; check it off, and boom, boom, boom, you’re a master of productivity.

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Reflecting on #TeamWeek

It’s a pretty usual Monday morning – waking up to the weekly routine (6am power walk followed by coffee and digging in to the week’s plan, emails, and daily focus time) – except it’s not. I’m wanting to hold onto last week a little longer and savor the yumminess.

bldg313Nope, wasn’t vacation. And though we did win a contract (always worth savoring) – it’s not that. Last week was my brainchild for holding the team together spread out by miles, trying to maintain the level of teamwork, collaboration and intentional strong culture we need to succeed and thrive – #TeamWeek.

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Women in leadership – diversity yields dividends

Guest post from Kim Villenueve in Women in Leadership Network. Originally posted on Vistage. 

The call for greater diversity at senior leadership levels is not new, although it has itself become more inclusive, extending beyond gender, race and ethnicity, to encompass age, education, socioeconomic background and sexual orientation, as well as experience, skills and talent.

It is also not news that diversifying leadership teams can pay financial dividends for corporations. As early as 2004, research by Catalyst, Inc. showed a significant positive correlation between financial performance and female representation at the executive level[i] with female Board representation having an even stronger effect.

Most recently, a new international study by McKinsey & Co.[ii] showed that companies with gender diverse leadership are 15% more likely to report financial returns above their national industry median, while those with ethnically diverse leadership were 35% more likely to have financial returns that outpace their industry.  Sadly, none of the 366 public companies surveyed stood out as leaders on both gender and ethnic diversity axis together.

In spite of the long-established case for balancing executive teams, the C-Suite has remained stubbornly homogeneous. Only 4.6% of chief executives of S&P 500 companies are women, and there are just six black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies currently.[iii] Progress has been made, but slowly and inconsistently. In their recent study mentioned above, for example, McKinsey & Co. notes that women now represent about 16% of executive teams in U.S. companies overall, calling that “measurable progress” but acknowledging that women remain underrepresented at senior levels globally.

Picking up the pace

Is this glacial pace of change in senior leadership team composition due to entrenched discrimination? Not necessarily, according to a diversity discussion panel at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos.[iv] Their consensus is that a lack of diversity in executive teams is less about overt discrimination than it is about unconscious biases toward affinity: people tend to hire people like themselves. If an executive team has traditionally been composed of a particular demographic, shifting the team’s composition will require a conscious effort by all members to acknowledge and challenge assumptions about gender, race, nationality, background or age so as to embrace a different profile.

Successfully challenging unconscious biases may require the independent perspective of a third party, such as an executive coach, who can observe and call attention to them in a constructive manner, while supporting subsequent behavioral change.

As leadership teams become more diverse their networks will naturally expand, however access to broader networks in order to identify and recruit top caliber diverse candidates will be a challenge initially. Partnering with an executive search team that has a track record of success in securing high quality, diverse candidates can provide much-needed traction in this area, while collaborative leadership consulting can be an effective tool to help develop synergy and effectively integrate the new executive into the team.

Moving the needle: Strategies for success

Here are four steps to accelerate the diversification of your executive team:

  1. Intentionally diversify your team through succession planning and targeted search
  2. Address unconscious bias in the search and selection process through coaching and dialogue
  3. Look for a track record of building inclusive cultures when evaluating executives you’d like to attract to your organization
  4. Create synergy with incumbent team members prior to, and through, effective onboarding of new hires who represent different perspectives

McKinsey & Co. note that the positive financial impact of gender diversity for American businesses only kicks in after “women constitute at least 22% of a senior executive team.’’ It can be safely assumed, then, that there is also a critical mass for ethnic and other underrepresented populations with regard to financial impact. The companies who are first to achieve that critical mass may reap the rewards in the form of significantly accelerated competitive advantage. Diversity in the C-Suite is no longer a business requirement—it is an imperative.

This article was adapted for Vistage from Centerstone Executive Search. Dr. Kim Villeneuve is CEO of Centerstone Executive Search & Consulting, a nationally retained firm providing executive-level search and leadership consulting to the consumer sector. Kim is also a coach for elite executives, an adjunct professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business, and guest lecturer at The George Washington University, from which she holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning. Contact Kim at kim@centerstonesearch.com or at 425-836-8445.

[i] “The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity” January 15, 2004 Catalyst, Inc.

[ii] Why Diversity Matters” By Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince McKinsey, & Co. January 2015

[iii] “Is there a diversity dividend?” Linda Yueh, Chief Business Correspondent, BBC News January 25, 2015 http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30973184

[iv] World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, January 2015 http://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2015/sessions/diversity-dividend

Are Pandora and Ticketfly Really Changing Ticketing Forever?

Yesterday, everyone in the ticketing world gasped a little – though not from surprise – that the venture-grabbing little brother to Ticketmaster, Ticketfly, was snatched up in a staggering $450 million acquisition by music streaming giant, Pandora.

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It was no surprise that Ticketfly was priming to flip from the start; in fact, the run of endless capital seemed to go on for so long, some scratched our heads, wondering “When? And who?” Continue reading

5 Steps to a More Balanced, Highly Productive Morning

One of my morning reads recently was a blog post from Dale Partridge about his 5 Steps To An INSANELY Productive Morning.

Dale, I love your book (People Over Profit) and your blog (thedailypositive.com). Your angle on life and business is right on. But while your post had some good ideas, I frankly wanted to crawl back into bed in the fetal position just thinking about implementing your regimented steps!

I began crafting this post for those of us who aren’t cut from the same cloth as you. We, too, desire to wake up and face the day with a plan that will start and end with productivity — and yet not lose track of that balance we work so hard to keep. Continue reading

Millennials on the Rise: How this new era of historic theatre managers is changing the game

Last week, I attended the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT) annual conference in Nashville. Several hundred of us meet annually with an aggressive agenda: tour historic theatres in the cities we meet in; connect with other people who, like us, love the often crumbling theatres we work in; equip ourselves with new ideas and knowledge; and connect with industry providers who offer Continue reading

The Eye of the Tiger

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People often ask me about why my business has succeeded where others have failed. We’re a privately-funded 2003 startup and still hold 90% of the company in an industry where market share is bought (and ownership diluted) with venture and angel cap. Here we are, 12 years later, still playing and winning against the largest entertainment company in the world.

I usually answer something like, “We’re still here because we didn’t quit.” Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Continue reading

Just Imagine (My response to the Hillary Conundrum)

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As a female business leader and entrepreneur, intimately interested in furthering opportunities for women to succeed and be paid equally with our male counterparts, it’s a no-brainer that I will comment and weigh in on Hillary’s presidential campaign.

First, in full disclosure, I’m a registered Democrat. So of course I’m happy to have my own party putting what will (likely) be the first woman at the head of the presidential ticket. Continue reading

Fighting to Play

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Most people that know me know that I’m the proud mother of three beautiful, bright young women.

When my girls were younger, I encouraged them to follow their dreams and build the future that they wanted. As a working mom, I could only hope that I led by example—that they would see they could enter the workforce as a woman and not come up against discrimination.

If only that were true.  Continue reading

Staying Angry: 3 Things to do to Give Women Opportunity

littleleauge

I grew up in the 70’s—a time I think was a pretty fantastic to be a kid. My generation didn’t go off to war, survived inflation but not a depression, had a strong and normal middle class, and feared nothing at school except a bad grade.

However, I never realized—until I was about twelve and in sixth grade —that women and girls didn’t have the same opportunities as men and boys. I dreamed of being a doctor, a lawyer, or a TV news reporter, without knowledge or thought of the glass ceiling.

But then Little League happened. While I didn’t play baseball (basketball and track, yes), I had a good friend who did. Penny wanted to play baseball, and since there were no girls teams to play on at the time, she wanted to join the boys team.

Penny’s quest to play Little League with the boys became a big story in my small world. She was fiery, insistent and knew she could outplay many of the boys on the team. But when she showed up to join, she was turned away. For lack of . . . Continue reading